How A Sewing Machine Works

I had to bust out my sewing machine last weekend to put some finishing touches on my Halloween costume. Every time I use it, I wonder, "How on earth does this work?"

Luckily for me, the good people at Bits & Pieces found this helpful animated gif to demonstrate the fascinating process:

Although I can see it with my own eyes, I am still amazed that it works! It's such a mechanical engineering marvel. :) And this technology has stood the test of time: this basic sewing machine function has been in use for over 150 years!


  1. That is really interesting and easier to understand because of the animation. Why all the twists and turns of the thread before it passes through the eye of the needle?

  2. Yeah, it really doesn't explain that part!

    My best guess is that all of those mechanisms that the thread goes through keeps the tension optimal. As far as my sewing machine manual is concerned, thread tension is vital to the process... maybe the tension has to vary throughout each repetition?

    But that's just a guess. :)